lost control of my house!!!!!

Sam - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Ok so i have 4 children ages 9-boy and 3 girls ages 6,2,and 1. I think i have lost all control in my house. The 9 and 6 yr olds do what they want when they want. No matter what i ask them to do they dont bother to listen. My 2 yr old is picking on the 1yr old all the time and she doesnt listen to me and really doesnt like time outs. She is climbing over the baby gate that i have to put in front of her bedroom door so that she stays in there for her time outs. I am totally lacking on sleep i am lucky if i get 3-4 hrs and that is not together and my husband is on the road all wk and is really no help at all when he is home. The only one that is listening and does has i ask or say is the 1 yr old but if i dont get the house under control with the other 3 i am doomed when she gets a mind of her own. Anyone that can elp me i am totally open to anything anyone can say for me.

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Kelina - posted on 04/13/2010

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yay supernanny! lol i recognize the mothod it works pretty well with young kids for timeouts and the reward system works well with kids over 3. I used to watch three kids aged 2 3 and 4 and we couldn't get the 4 year old to go top bed without a fight. We were only there one night so the supernanny method wasn't consistently used and didn't work for us but once we told her that if she went to bed like a good girl for three nights then she would get to go to JJ's she settled right down. Instead of putting her in her room for her timeouts i would suggest supernanny's naughty spot. It's somewhere that you can see her and if she gets up, you can put her right back on it. Putting her in her room, she probably still has too much freedom and feels that because you can't see her she can get away with it. Another thing that worked eally well with those kids I mentioned was when they refused to help pickup their toys, they went in hte garbage, a method fully supported by their mother. If they can't learn to pick up after themselves then their toys will get taken away. That's a privelege not a right and they need to earn it. I would suggest when you ask them to pick up their toys or their clothes if they don't, go get a big garbage bag and fill it with their stuff. Then begin a reward system. If they help when you ask them to, they get a toy back. If they pick up their clothes for a whole day, they get an item of clothing back, etc. And when they've done five things you've asked them to, (just making up a number but make sure you keep track of it) they get a bigger reward like ice cream for dessert or a friend gets to come over and play. That kind of thing. Good luck!

Tracy - posted on 04/13/2010

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It sounds to me like you are so tired that you aren't being consistent with enforcing the rules and you aren't following up with a punishment for breaking the rules. That's one of the main reasons why kids don't seem to care about the rules. They know you won't actually do anything. Yes, you put them in time out, but they are getting out. Your kids have figured out that if they push you hard enough they will get their way. They know Mommy is tired and they are taking advantage of it. Also, seems to be no structure in your home. There needs to be a certain time of day that everyone gets up, has breakfast, gets ready for school (the 6 and 9 year olds), plays with mom (the 2 and 1 year olds), takes a nap, etc. You can't function with 4 kids all by yourself without structure.



You could start a rewards system for the kids for when they do their chores, homework, or help Mommy with a project and do these things without having to be asked twice. Maybe they earn points or stickers or something that earn them a prize at the end of the week. When the kids break the rules you have to discipline them. If you choose to use times out, then they have to stay in that spot. I wouldn't use their room. I'd use a specific chair in a corner, or a stair step. Keep putting them back on their time out place when they get up during time out. Set the timer. When the timer goes off, get on their level and tell them why they had a time out and ask for an apology. No apology, then they sit there for longer. Now, for your 1 and 2 year olds, a time out is probably not effective yet. You have to tell them that "we don't do" whatever it is they did to break a rule and re-direct them to some other activity.



When the older 2 kids are at school and 1 and 2yr olds are napping, get a NAP yourself!!! Go to bed when they do or shortly thereafter. Try to focus on the sleep more than the chores for a while. Hire a high school girl to come in and do some baby-sitting so you can get chores done. Get your 9 year old and even your 6 year old to help with housework at that time. If they are earning points, then they may see the benefit of helping mom. Good luck!!

Karen - posted on 04/13/2010

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Oh I so feel your pain, I have 3 children my oldest boy is 8, my middle child (boy) is 3 and my baby girl is 2 and they all think they are the boss and if I speak in a normal tone then I must not mean business. It's hard and some days you just want to give up because you just want one day without having to yell, repeat yourself or hearing crying/whining - I know you get the picture. I'm not sure if your children are involved in any sports or some kind of program they actually enjoy doing but let them know that if they dont' start to listen and follow your direction then they will no longer be allowed to participate and even if you have to discuss this w/the team coach and actually follow through w/the punishment do it, because they need to know you're in charge. It's hard because sometimes it's so much easier to just give in because the mental frustration can be wearing. You just have to remember when you say you're going to do something follow through with it. If your children have nothing left in their rooms but their bed and dresser then so be it - take away luxuries.
Another problem could be that you said your husband is away all week and only home on the weekends I have found that with my children sometimes they are acting out because they are in much need of special attention and perhaps they are angry that their father is away. I know the everyday tasks at hand can become time consuming but I frequently have to stop and ask myself if I spent quality time w/each child today - even if it's just brushing our teeth together to let them know I'm here if they need me. My husband works at night so most of the time it's just me and I have a lot to do as I'm sure you do and even though I may not think so sometimes I get loud and short and I don't mean to. I often ask my children how they feel and if they really start to act out we have a 10 min or so one on one to find out what's wrong - this doesn't always work but it lets them see (other than my saying in words) that I'm there for them. Change doesn't happen overnight but just keep to your word, follow through the first time and try to keep the tone in our voice calm. You could also try to involve them in the household chores like cleaning up - helping w/dinner, doing dishes or putting them away anything that you could incorporate them into and then they will start to understand that a family is alot of work and they will respect you more and MAKE SURE YOU GIVE THEM LOTS OF HUGS/KISSES AND LET THEM KNOW WHEN YOU SEE THEM DOING SOMETHING GOOD. I have often fell into the pattern of only disciplining them and not praising them for doing good things. (I am in no way saying you do or don't do any of these things, but I think it's reassuring when you feel like you're not alone) hopefully this helped and if you find any one thing works better than another please share the info I am always up for suggestions to have well-working home~~Take care!

[deleted account]

What kinds of discipline have you used so far and for how long? It is difficult to suggest new tactics without knowing what you've done already (just don't want to waste time suggesting stuff you've already tried).
We use life consequences in our house--i.e. my son has to live with the consequences of his actions (or lack thereof). With the older two, this is pretty easy, but you may have to work a little to make it work for they younger two. If there are no immediate consequences, you can make one that teaches the same lesson, then when the real consequence comes around, you can remind them how their own actions caused their current state of unhappiness.

You said that they do not do what you ask them to. Try not doing what they ask YOU to do--like, if you ask them to put their clothes in the hamper and they do not do it, do not fix dinner until they do. They will eventually get hungry and put the clothes away (as long as you don't cave and do it for them). It may take a day or possibly two of not eating, but I assure you, they will eventually put the clothes up and they will learn that if they expect you to do things for them, they need to do things for you as well, and that is a VERY IMPORTANT lesson.
You could also refuse to wash clothes that are not in hampers.....

As for doing whatever they want to do, what is it that they are doing? Can you prevent them from doing it? If they continue to sit in front of the TV or play video games after you ask them to clear the table, then unplug the TV and move all of it to the attic/garage. Take any cell phones or handheld games away, you can even pawn them if you really want to make an impression. Do not just take them away for a day, or a week, take them away the 1st time just until they complete the task you ask them to. If they move onto another activity before completing the task, take the new activity away. Eventually they will be left with nothing to do.
If you are still having to take things away by the end of the 1st week, then they have to earn it back by doing what you ask them to the FIRST time you ask, or before you ask, 5 times in order to get the stuff back.


Does that make sense? If you post on some more specific situations, I can post some more specific scenarios, then you will get the hang of the life consequence thing.

[deleted account]

You should start taking things away. No warnings. They disobey, their favorite toy is gone. And the two year old, you just have to outlast her. Or distract her and get her mind on something else.

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14 Comments

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Donna - posted on 04/20/2010

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First of all, well done you! I think it is great that you are willing to put in the hard yards to get back control.

Sam - I highly recommend a book called 'Four weeks to a better behaved child'. it goes into detail about how to get children back under control. It is written by Cristine Chandler and Laura McGrath.

Cheers,

Donna

http://themotherhoodtruth.blogspot.com

Michayla - posted on 04/19/2010

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I can't speak for the older ones, but I have a 4 year old, an almost three year old and a one year old. The two year old LOVES to pick on his little sister. In my findings it is jealousy with him. Right now we are working on that. The one thing that think really helps with him, is incorporating him into my time with her. If he feels like he is helping take care of her, even if it's just me asking him to hand her the bottle I made, seems to help. I agree whole-heartedly with everyone that you need to take a good long while to yourself. However, speaking from experience, that is next to impossible with your husband away all the time. And I hear the whole he is NO help when he gets home... ugh. Mine comes home on weekends, and wonders why the kids run the house,:). Just keep swimming, and keep posting. :)

Kelina - posted on 04/19/2010

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I know what you mean about picking your battles. I was a nanny for four boys aged 6 9 10 and 11 and had to cart my 6 months old around as well and they didn't particularly like listening to me especially since I had a ton of rules their mom didn't have and they weren't allowed to be disrespectful to either of us when I was in that house. The garbage got forgotten a lot! Choose your battles, take heart in the oens you win, and don't sweat about the ones you don't. Eventually all your kids will be in school and you'll be wondering how your house got so quiet during the day. Be strong!

Brennis - posted on 04/14/2010

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Have you tried making their chores a game, that they all do at the same time? I found that in large groups of children or children of different ages, or children not wanting to do chores, it helped a lot to make it a game. YOU are in charge of the game.

For instance, clean the room- ok make them sit in the middle of the floor and spin on their butt. When you say stop they stop and grab the nearest toys and see who can put them up the fastest. Don't always have them spin, others you can do are: hopping, see who can get the most clothes in the hamper... use your imagination.

The idea is that you are giving them all attention, so don't forget the praise. Also, it puts them all on the same level, so the little ones have a chance.

Hopes that helps to get them to do chores.

Tracy - posted on 04/14/2010

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Sam, I know exactly what you mean about how hard it is to be consistent! Having been through the stage of life you are in and now with a pre-teen and a teen, it's still not easy! And sometimes what works for one kid doesn't work with another one. Here's a place to start. Don't yell and fight with your kids. This is using up your energy faster than the chores are! The older ones will try to get you to yell at them as a way of negotiating with you. If they don't like a particular punishment, they will try to get you embroiled in a fight so that you'll give in and they will get their way. If they don't want to do something you've asked them to do, they will get rude, ask questions, plead with you...or whatever tactic. They do this so you'll engage them in an argument. Guess what? It works for them when you allow it to happen. What I do with my kids is keep repeating the same things (calmly) over and over again. "Do what I asked or you will be punished." "We aren't going to argue about it." And then, you walk away. If the chore isn't done by the time you specify, you give them the punishment. None of your energy has been expended in an argument. You are the one in control, but you have to stop the yelling. Yelling only wastes your energy. Your kids can hear fine. : )

LeahDawn - posted on 04/13/2010

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Oh and as to where to start on yourself. I say start with sleep. Leave the chores and try to go to bed early. Heck I have had to have the kids sleep with me just so I could sleep 6 hours instead of 3. Also you need to schedule some "mommy alone" time just to regroup.

LeahDawn - posted on 04/13/2010

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My mom put up two baby gates to keep my sister in her room for time outs and now they have the clear plastic ones so you can't really climb them. I have done the grabage bag thing with my 6 yr with the rewards. It helped a little, atleast his room is fairly clean. Good Luck!!!!!!! Keep us informed! Hope you get a break soon to sleep!

Sam - posted on 04/13/2010

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thank you all of you. Everything that you all have said i am taking alittle from each and trying it to see if it works. Yes i am very tired and there is no napping for me for the 2 youngest ones do not nap at the same time. the 1 yr old goes around 1130am and when she wakes up the 2 yr old goes down around 1pm. I do have a scchedule and keep to it. The problem is not the before school or bed time it is all the time that is in between them.lol...i am going to try the taking things away for the older ones and the time out spot for the 2 yr old to start with and see if that helps me get control back.

And to Tracy.....yes i am very tired and never seem to get enough of a break to relax. I do pick and choose my battles if i dont then all i would be doing is yelling and fighting with the kids. That i think is my biggest problem....i try to be consistent but sometimes it is just easier to give in than to fight about the same stuff over and over and over again with them. So maybe the problem is not with them, maybe it is with me.

Not sure if that makes any sense but i know what i am trying to say and hope you do too.....I think i have to work on lyself at the same time has working on the kids, i just am not sure where to start????

Sam - posted on 04/12/2010

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i have done that they dont care. i have grounded them to their rms. I have taken all toys out of their rms. they just dont care and i have no clue what else i can do to let them know that i am the parent and the boss not them. I have outlasted the 2yr old hense why i have been getting no sleep....lol.

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